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The Republican war against women

by Frank Schnittger Thu Oct 25th, 2012 at 05:14:48 PM EST

So what is it about Republican men which makes them so obsessed with and so expert on the subject of rape? And what is it about Republican male politicians who insist on raising the issue of no exceptions for rape in their anti-abortion legislation proposals even when it polls so badly and threatens  to hand winable Senate seats and perhaps the Presidency to pro-choice democrats? (H/T for charts below to Brainwrap on Daily Kos here and here)



More beneath the fold...







Todd Akin has already all but lost his senate race to Claire McCaskill because of his remarks quoted above - a race which should have been a shoe-in for a Republican pick-up in ultra conservative Missouri. Richard Mourdock is now threatening to do the same in Indiana jeopardising his early lead in the race. And the prominence of the issue cannot but help reinforce President Obama's already strong lead amongst women voters more generally.

Let us take the most charitable view: Republicans generally, and more particularly tea party activist fundamentalist Christians are absolutely sincere in their belief that life starts at conception and that abortion is morally wrong even whilst the embryo is still absolutely dependent on the mother to sustain its life. The rape may be wrong, but the killing of an unborn child even when it is a tiny embryo is an even greater wrong. Women who have been raped and become pregnant have a moral duty to bear the child even when they have been severely injured or traumatised and must bear the consequences of their torment every day of their pregnancy. This is more or less the position of the Catholic Church and many fundamentalist protestant churches.

It is the stark brutality of this position, the risk of suicide or self harm, and the absolute injustice of this outcome which makes Republican politicians come out with all sorts of outlandish rationalisations for their position: That the life of the mother is rarely if ever at stake, that pregnancies resulting from rape are rare (because the female body has some kind of natural defensive mechanism against unwanted pregnancies - Akin), and that many so called rapes aren't really rapes at all. Some have even proposed legislation mandating intrusive vaginal scans of all women seeking an abortion even when there is no medical reason to insert a scanning wand into the uterus - a new form of legally enforced medical rape?

But the bottom line is that it represents the imposition of one person's religious views on others who do not share it, it represents the criminalization of the victim of a crime, and it reflects a highly selective and tendentious interpretation and implementation of Christianity itself. The Ancients who wrote the bible had no concept of conception, much less a theory that life should be considered to begin then. And what of the prohibition on divorce which is much more explicit in the Bible? Honoured only in the breach. Christians make much of God giving us free will and that becoming a Christian is an act of a free conscience. So where is the toleration, never mind the championing, of the free will and conscience of others?

I have no difficulty with those who oppose abortion and apply that to their own lives. Typically, however they seek to impose that view on others whilst giving themselves a free pass on many other issues far more explicitly condemned by their own faith.

So what is the economics and psychology of this attempt to roll back the tide of Women's Liberation which has become ever more entrenched since the 1960's? Why are Republican men (in particular) threatened by the emergence of equality for women. Many of the same Republican legislators also voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which guaranteed equal pay for equal work. Are less educated Republican men particularly threatened by the emergence of women in the workforce as their employment attainment grows in response to their often better academic achievement?

And why the re-emergence of contraception and birth control as an issue in the Republican Primaries - is this an attempt to prevent sexually active women from having independent and successful careers? It seems any woman, not under the immediate authority, control and "protection" of a man in a marriage and busy having kids is a threat to these men.

I will leave it to the experts on this blog to decide...

Display:
I am having great difficulty rendering the images properly and legibly. If I simply link to the KOS images they render very small and illegibly. If I impose a greater width the fonts are stretched and become unattractive and not much more legible. I have tried saving to paintbrush and to photobucket and resizing there but it doesn't seem to make any difference to how they are rendered on ET.

On Booman the same images with the same code render almost too large, but certainly very legibly.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 25th, 2012 at 05:49:29 PM EST
There are image dimensions limits here that got in the way. I had to chop the original images up and upload them to photobucket to get a normal-size image. Sorry if the chopping is a bit obvious here and there!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 03:01:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah thanks. I tried doing some chopping in Paintbrush but it didn't seem to work very well. Not familiar enough with photobucket to do anything more than photodumping and resizing there!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 03:32:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock: Banning abortion for rape victims is the new Republican mainstream. - Slate Magazine
Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock aren't outliers. Banning abortion for rape victims is the new Republican mainstream.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 25th, 2012 at 06:07:56 PM EST
here's an Obama ad which compares your first time having sex with voting for Obama!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 09:26:11 AM EST
Well not that I particularly like it but I am not shocked...it may even work for youngsters to go out and vote...it is America...land of so many sharp contradictions...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 10:00:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Swedish Social Democratic Youth League did something similar in the late 1990's.
Except they sent lots of video tapes with no return address and no obvious information about who it was from until at the end of the "message".
Reception was mixed ...


-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 10:04:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is really horrific. Religion here is just a "vehicle" for these sick people to impose their sick views on others...because they can.
I can't find explanation for their doing because it does not seem to be politically wise, especially in this time of election. I know Americans are considered being conservative generally but I would say they are mostly like that in rural areas, small cities etc. Does the electoral system ignore fact that probably most of the citizens live in big cities and are not that conservative (but opposite)?
Australia seems to be so much better...Not that we do not have conservative leader who "hates (modern and liberated) women". He is "itching" having woman Prime minister who is in de facto relationship and childless (Abbot just recently had not so well hidden remark about it). We have red necks and everything but it is much more benign. This stuff in USA is so "cancerous"...Catastrophic. I would never want to live in USA and had to endure all these morons...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 09:52:24 AM EST
by Number 6 on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 10:27:42 AM EST
(Apologies. I don't mean to side-track a serious story with frivolities. Belongs here.)

-----
sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 10:30:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because of course he didn't need to give him The Talk until he got back from his mission.
by rifek on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 11:48:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 01:08:03 PM EST
Image height limit has now been modified, so that one displays OK.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 02:46:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:35:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians - Whatever

Hi! I'm a rapist. I'm one of those men who likes to force myself on women without their consent or desire and then batter them sexually. The details of how I do this are not particularly important at the moment -- although I love when you try to make distinctions about "forcible rape" or "legitimate rape" because that gives me all sorts of wiggle room -- but I will tell you one of the details about why I do it: I like to control women and, also and independently, I like to remind them how little control they have. There's just something about making the point to a woman that her consent and her control of her own body is not relevant against the need for a man to possess that body and control it that just plain gets me off. A guy's got needs, you know? And my need is for control. Sweet, sweet control.

So I want to take time out of my schedule to thank you for supporting my right to control a woman's life, not just when I'm raping her, but for all the rest of her life as well.

and

A Fan Letter to Certain Conservative Politicians - Whatever

Best of all, I get to do all that without much consequence! Oh, sure, theoretically I can get charged with rape and go to prison for it. But you know what? For every hundred men who rape, only three go to prison. Those are pretty good odds for me, especially since -- again! -- folks like you like to muddy up the issue saying things like "forcible rape." Keep doing that! It's working out great for me.

As for the kid, well, oddly enough, most women I rape want nothing to do with me afterward, so it's not like I will have to worry about child support or any other sort of responsibility... unless of course I decide that I haven't taught that woman a big enough lesson about who's really in control of her life. Did you know that 31 states in this country don't keep rapists from seeking custody or visitation rights? How great is that? That's just one more thing she has to worry about -- me crawling out of the woodwork to remind her of what I did, and am continuing to do, to her life.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 01:15:54 PM EST
Tangentially related: one of the insanities recently aired by members of Hungary's governing Fidesz party was when an MP told in the parliamentary debate on the law against domestic violence: "There would be less domestic violence if women agreed to bear four children each"...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 03:04:16 PM EST
Hitler gave medals to mothers of four...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:22:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, seven.
by Katrin on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:26:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My mother always claimed she would have been entitled to one having delivered 4 boys...obviously after Hitler's time...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:34:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nowadays one can have the Bundespräsident as godfather for the seventh child. And yes, that makes an assumption about the president that isn't explicitly in the job description.
by Katrin on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 05:42:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Catholic or Protestant godfather indiscriminately?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 01:52:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, because it is symbolic. It uses Christian symbolism though, and it makes assumptions that so far aren't questioned at all. It is one of my favourite ripostes when Islamophobes fantasise about the Islamic dangers to the secularity of the German state and society. Which secularity?
by Katrin on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 04:02:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Could it not be argued that:
  1. This is a hangover from a previous, less secular age
  2. It is rare and entirely voluntary on the part of those who chose to participate - as opposed to state imposed religion?

Is there any constitutional impediment to the President taking on a similar role in the case of a Muslim child?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 05:27:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is both a hangover from a previous, less secular age and more importantly from the nazi era. And like the Mutterkreuz of the nazis it is entirely voluntary and nobody needs to accept it. I can easily conceive of even Muslim families accepting it (it involves a gift of 500 Euros, why reject that?), but in case we ever elect a Muslim or Jewish president... er, "godfather"? I'm definitely opposed to a form of secularity that bans all religion from the public sphere, but I don't want a one-sided symbolism such as this.
by Katrin on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 06:54:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What would be wrong about (say) a Muslim President being "Godfather" to a (say) a Jewish child?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 06:59:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The symbolism (derived from baptism) would be alien to both. Surely minorities are entitled to more respect.
by Katrin on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 07:08:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was a "Guardian Friend" to four Chinese/British/Irish/Malaysian children now adults. The secular role is somewhat similar - to guardian over the children when the parents are not in a position to.

The specifics of the ceremony used in the case of the German President my derive from Christian tradition, but is there any constitutional reason it couldn't be adapted to the wishes of a Muslim President and Jewish parents?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 07:48:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It would make much more sense to just abolish the thing. It's not meant as support for children who might need additional support.
by Katrin on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 08:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My children have "parrains" and "marraines" (luckily the French words don't involve god-, perhaps pre-christian?)

They were "baptised" in a civil ceremony at the town hall, in the little-known "baptisme républicain", established in the late 18th century.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 10:33:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but in case we ever elect a Muslim or Jewish president...
---------------
According to this "racist" photo that I received by e mail today it is not very far away...

Hollande (Amsterdan)« Berthe » quarter.... 1980

Hollande (Amsterdan)« Berthe »↓... 2011

Not that there is anything wrong here...just because it comes from your "Serbian racist" :)

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 10:20:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No one is calling you a racist, but go on posting cherry-picked photos like those, which came to you from people with real racist aims, and it might happen.

But you'll whine if it does, right?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 03:38:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really :)
These people are not to blame for ending up in EU / USA etc. as immigrants. They mostly came from the countries where USA/EU etc. made decent life impossible due to wars and their meddling in to other people business for their interest . No one wants to leave family and friends and find himself alone in foreign country starting from zero. I am an immigrant and I can assure you that. And just for your information all those immigrants were not poor back in their country. Poor are still there...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 07:38:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the message these photos are meant to convey is racist. It shows how one street has changed (in how many decades? The black and white looks like the era when children didn't answer back, Daddy wasn't unemployed, and women knew their place in the kitchen) and extrapolates that all Holland is in danger of being overrun by hordes of brown-skinned Muslims imposing their culture forcibly...

The reality is less exciting: about 5% of all Europeans are Muslims, mostly immigrants or the children and grandchildren of immigrants. They tend to cling together, so many streets in our larger cities look like Little Istanbul or so.

To answer your question, if it was one: no, there is nothing wrong with that.

by Katrin on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 04:44:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, the domestic population has largely moved off the street into the corporate chain supermarket.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 04:55:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, the Muslim ladies are in front of a cheap clothing stall of the kind poorer people patronise. Not the same stalls in the top picture.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 05:46:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not that poor and I patronise the cheap stalls...:-)

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 11:14:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't that you over there on the right with the bike?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 03:29:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
nah - I'm not in the market for children's socks at the mo...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 03:38:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, we see less than a dozen people on both photos, hardly a representative cross section of even one market, not to speak of a city or an entire country!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 05:58:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But anecdotal evidence is right-wing reality.  Didn't you get the memo?
by rifek on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 03:12:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The plural of anecdote is not statistics, it's bullshit.

That's why conservatives are annoyed by Nate Silver.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 03:14:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right that that first picture intends to convey a situation of "normal" local life. But in 1980 (supposed date of photo), there had been 15 years of hippie, freak, leftist rejection of that "normal" kind of life in Amsterdam.

Of course, those long-haired hordes were going to destroy the last vestiges of civilisation, (remember?), according to the same authoritarian, nationalist, reactionary creeps as those who e-mailed those extremely cherry-picked photos to vbo.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 05:44:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This e mail was not that much racist as you may think.It was more like satiric showing other aspect of western foreign policy "success"... I'll post three other examples from this e mail all tho I do not know how authentic these photos are actually. Here it is...
Iran 1970

Iran 2012

Afghanistan (does not seem to be so authentic with all those blondies)

Egypte (Université du Caire)... 1959

Egypte (Université du Caire)... 2004

And then was those two photos from Holand...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 08:30:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well - it's not as if business suits are a sign of religious conformity.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 08:39:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more about girls...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 08:44:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It strikes me that the photos could be (over?)interpreted as documenting a rejection of western lifestyles and value systems and a re-emergence (or manufacturing) of more traditional Islamic ones. There are a number of different economic, political and sociological explanations for why this might have happened - a rejection of an unattainable (for most) western consumerism, a reassertion of traditional patriarchy in response to western liberal hedonism .really only possible for the rich etc. etc. and perhaps just a power play by local elites seeing their power being undermined form abroad They don't need to be interpreted in a racist way at all..

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 11:24:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, the two from Amsterdam, taken separately from the others, look like standard "Eurabia" propaganda.

Looking at all of them, the obvious thing is that they're so cherry-picked that they're meaningless. It's all too easy to pick out photos that illustrate the ideas you want to put across. At the same time as the jeunesse dorée of the better-off classes in Tehran in 1970, most of the Iranian population was poor and illiterate, while the Shah's police, the SAVAK, brutally clamped down on expression of any opposition from the educated youth that wasn't playing the right game:

European Tribune - Reason For Hope: Parvaz

Reza Deghati was born in Tabriz, Iran. He got interested in photography as a teenager. As a student, he dazibao'd walls in Tehran with photos of the poor and despairing, posted at night, taken down by the Shah's police the next day. He ended up arrested by the SAVAK at the time of the height of that organisation's power, imprisoned and tortured (they wouldn't believe he was alone and wanted to know who the other members of his subversive group were).

So what are the right photos of Iran in 1970? The Westernized rich kids, or Reza's photos of the poor and despairing?

(Same regarding the other pairs of photos).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 03:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course they are cherry picked to make a point.
Yeah it easy to cherry pick in any culture to make a point...but is there a point here? I would say yes and I would interpret them as a rejection of western culture . I have not visited any of those countries ( except Holland long time ago) and as I said I am not sure how authentic they are. I have visited Frankfurt tho few years ago and it has changed from my last time visit in a sense that those immigrants from Middle east are much more visible now.  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 06:14:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the one pair of photos with some meaning is the one for Egypt, though that meaning is not straightforward. On one hand, I did read a few years ago that the veil had a comeback in that country, in all classes. On the other hand, education probably became available to a broader part of society.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 06:03:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
During the communist era we Serbs (strangely) did not have another word for "godfather" ( probably because our word for godfather does not have God in it) and there was not any secular ceremony that would replace baptizing at the church. Godfather in our culture is the one who gives name to a child and is considerate as another parent "in God". It is important person in the family when it comes to celebrations of any kind but other then that person does not have real responsibilities.
As for governments it is much more convenient if they just give money to mothers, like here in Australia...$5000 for first child and recently $3000 for any subsequent child.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 10:30:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There seems to me to be a legitimate and important social and secular role for someone to be appointed "Godfather/Godmother" or "Guardian Friend" or whatever you want to call it - who's main duty is to care for the child if anything happens to the parents. It gives the child an extra level of security in case of calamity or parents being away for a while or just emotional support from an adult friend. In practice it mainly involves attendance/gifts at significant growing up events for the child.

I agree with Katrin that it doesn't need to be enshrined in the constitution and that we shouldn't be incentivising v. large families. But I was glad there were a few people who had agreed to look out for my kids if anything happened me and my wife.  (My kids were happy with the presents and proud to be made feel special by someone outside their immediate family). Most of those relationships have remained active now they are adults.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 04:32:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right, of course that is an important social thing. I have no issue with baptism and religious rituals, by the way. I have no issue with religion playing a role in the public sphere. What I object to here is the lack of neutrality of the state (and the message on population policy).
by Katrin on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 04:58:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In our culture if anything happens to a parents close family will look after children. If there is no family (rare) then you can find examples where godfather did it.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 08:46:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I realise I have no clue what's the local cultural/social significance of godparents around here. I was baptized (my atheist parents kept up appearances in front of my Catholic+Calvinist grandparents) but I have no special relationship with my godparents and haven't noticed one between others in the family, either. However, you mentioned adoption, and I realise that I have read in an old diary that the adoptive parents of a grand-grand-grandparent were her godparents, but I'm not sure if that mattered more than the fact that the adoptive mother was the dead mother's sister.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 06:20:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Sweden, it depends on family tradition. In general, I would say it is an extra adult who is supposed to show interest, send gifts and keep in touch with the child. How that works out depends on the people involved.

In theory there is also an element of taking a responsibility for the christian upbringing and being willing to adopt if something would happen to the parents. But the first one is pretty meh in a culture where the former arch-bishop does not believe in an objective god (he believes in a subjective god, ie an element of the human condition), and the second one is rare and would depend on a number of factors - if the child is over 12 they have a legal right to be heard on their own will in custody matters.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 09:35:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The godfather/godmother tradition made sense at a time where there wasn't a modern state with child welfare and social services. If the parents were lost the godparents could be trusted to foster the child. Not all siblings were godfathered by the same people which spread out the load. Often people wo had to be sent to their blood relatives found themselves with aunts-uncles or grandparents that showed no love for the children, presumably the godparents were people who were good family friends and developed closer relationships with the children.

Today, the godparents are legally redundant, though one might still be better off with godparents than with state-managed foster care.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 10:16:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think in the past, when most people were rural and poor,
  1. most people were quite familiar with blood relatives at least up to cousins, as most lived nearby;
  2. godparents tended to be family members too, either as blood relatives or as their spouses; or were alternatively notables of the village/town;
  3. even good family friends could behave differently when they were tasked with another mouth to feed in tight economic situation;
  4. the likelihood of godparents dying before the parents died was not small;

so I'm not yet convinced that the institution of godparents made much of a practical difference.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 01:22:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In sociological terms, it was just a ritualised way of formally giving selected friends/relations some formal responsibility or recognition. In many cases it made no practical difference, in most it was limited to perhaps some gifts and extra attendance at significant growing up events for the child. For the Church it was some added insurance that the child would be brought up "in the faith" even if the parents fell down on the job.

I'm not sure where the theological provenance/ecclesiastical history of the tradition comes from. It may have just been a case of the Church taking over preexisting cultural traditions wiki has some info on both Christian and non-Christian origins.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 02:14:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Godparent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Among Orthodox Ashkenazi, the kvater (or kvaterin if female) is the person who takes the child from his mother and carries him into the room in which the circumcision is performed. Kvater is etymologically derived from the German Gevatter ("godfather").

So that is what the first Jewish German president will do with the seventh child (if male)!

(Cue circumcision debate in 3... 2... 1...)

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 02:50:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In modern Hebrew the term used (when referring to the Coppola movies, about the only occasion you have to use the term in modern Hebrew) is "sandak". Here is more than you probably wanted to know about the difference between the two terms.
That still leaves us with two non-English words, both having to do with the rite of circumcision. Sandak is a Hebrew term, often translated as "godfather," for the man who holds the 8-day-old male child on his knees while the mohel, or circumciser, removes the child's foreskin. Kvater is a Yiddish term, also sometimes translated as "godfather," for the man who, among Orthodox Ashkenazic Jews, takes the child from his mother, carries him into the room in which the circumcision is to be performed, and either hands the child to the sandak or places him in a chair from which he is handed to the sandak by someone else. If the person taking the child from his mother is a woman, she is called the kvaterin; in that case, it the kvaterin's job is to pass the child to the kvater.

Although circumcision is probably the most ancient of all the Jewish rites that are practiced today, neither of these two words is anywhere near as venerable. The older of the two, sandak, is a Hebrew loan word from Greek, as easily can be seen from its earliest appearance in Jewish sources in the 13th-century midrashic anthology Yalkut Shimoni, where it occurs as sandakos, with the Greek first-declension, nominative-case singular ending. This is curious, since nearly all Greek borrowings in old Hebrew date to the pre-Islamic period, when Greek was the spoken language of the eastern Mediterranean world.

Presumably, then, sandakos was in use among Jews for hundreds of years before this but simply left no record. Its etymology is from syndikos, i.e., an advocate in a trial, and also, a backer or supporter. Syndikos was a word commonly used in Greek to translate the Latin patronus, which also could mean either a legal counsel or a social patron -- and just as the Roman patronus had a moral if not legal obligation to assist whomever the person to whom his patronage is extended, so the Jewish sandak was originally thought of, it would seem, as responsible for the circumcised child throughout his life. For this reason, the sandak was traditionally chosen from among the close friends or relatives of the parents of the child, with whom he was expected to maintain a lifelong bond.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 03:14:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While reading Wikipedia:

Cinderella - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

However, the second moral of the story mitigates the first one and reveals the criticism that Perrault is aiming at: "Another moral: Without doubt it is a great advantage to have intelligence, courage, good breeding, and common sense. These, and similar talents come only from heaven, and it is good to have them. However, even these may fail to bring you success, without the blessing of a godfather or a godmother."[11]

Somehow that part was kind of muted in the versions I heard as a child. I blame Disney.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 02:54:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's more, a magic godparent. One that only has to wave a wand for highly desirable upward social mobility to happen (though watch out for pumpkins).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 03:01:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's an much earlier version from China. Could the original moral have been that the girl with the smallest feet gets the prince?
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 03:08:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What on earth are you doing reading up on Cindi on Wiki?

I can think of only two non-exclusive explanations:

  1. You are a post structuralist existentialist critical linguistic philosopher
  2. You are a pervert...


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 04:08:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You linked to godparent, which linked to fairy godmother, which linked to Cinderella...

Yes, these habits are freakish.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 04:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Godfather in our culture is the one who gives name to a child

Do you mean that the godfather chooses the name for the child, or that the parents choose for their child to 'inherit' the name of the godfather? Either way, that would be a local custom new to me. Speaking of that, does a godmother exist in Serb Orthodox culture?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 06:10:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I interpreted it as the one who says the name in the ritual that batism is.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 09:27:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This means the godperson makes no vow to watch over the religious education of the child?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 07:12:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably it does - if that is the parent's wishes. But my question is whether it is constitutional enshrined that it must be so, and can't be adapted to the wishes of a (say) a Muslim President and Jewish parents?  Have there been no non-practicing Christian Presidents to date?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 07:52:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
God(parent) is all the same a religiously specific role. If it's to be adapted to fit all beliefs (including the many nonbelievers?), there doesn't seem much point in using the term god(parent).
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 08:01:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly. Additionally there is no reason to have a ritual celebrating very large families at all.
by Katrin on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 08:10:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But what about the high birth rates needed to create Eurabia, how are Muslem parents going to be able to afford that lest the multiculturalist government continues this nazi policy? It is all a islamonazi conspiracy I tell you!

(It is Eurabia right? I am a bit rusty on the rascist crackpot terminology.)

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 11:18:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, you've got it. It doesn't matter much if you think of "Eurabia", "The Ivan", or Cengiz Khan. Frightful what comes out of Asia, isn't it?
by Katrin on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 05:07:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They are giving incentives to people that want to have children because statistics ( and TV) keep telling us that there will be not enough people to work and take care of elderly and their pensions, pretty soon.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 08:40:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you looked at youth unemployment statistics lately? Declining birth rates cannot be the problem.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 08:42:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I said that's what they keep telling us...at least here in Australia but they are also talking about Japan, Italy and some other Europeans...At the moment it is crisis but they are talking long run...I do not know what kind of economic growth they have in mind...  

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 08:53:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's bullshit and a distraction. Society consists of working people and dependable people. The latter includes children, students, housewifes, the jobless, the disabled, and the retired. It doesn't make sense to pick out one of them and look at changes without looking at the rest. So, if someone picks out the elderly and claims that the increase in their numbers is a problem, the result may be an increase in the retirement age, the result of which again will be an increase in the number of older jobless people (and possibly the decrease of their retirement entitlement once they can finally retire). In short, you shuffle people between different categories of dependable people just so that you can make them poorer. If they were serious about wanting to reduce the ratio of dependable people, then they would have to create jobs – and if there is a general labour shortage, then it would make sense to raise the retirement age.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 06:41:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<whispers>dependents</whispers>
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Oct 30th, 2012 at 07:08:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know, my wife has had a tougher time with the girls.
by rifek on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 11:49:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In a sane world, and where there is an informed electorate, your statement that "Todd Akin has already all but lost his senate race" would be accurate.

But it's Missouri in question here, part of the bible belt. So while I am hopeful that he will be returned to the obscurity he so richly deserves, I am not entirely confident that will happen.

And thank you for giving that graphic a wider audience. No, folks, it is not snark. Republican politicians actually said those things, and a shocking number of American voters are fine with that.

by Mnemosyne on Fri Oct 26th, 2012 at 11:10:18 PM EST
I see nice nourishing of the part of electorate that just likes to piss off those arrogant, brainy liberuls. That is lazy envy and disproportionate fear for them; but liberuls indeed pose a competition to feudal aspects of status quo. So the West appears to be copying social standards of the Arab world as centuries-tested way to stifle social mobility and intellectual curiosity.
by das monde on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 01:52:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is neither lazy envy nor disproportionate fear.  The Religious Reich has disproportionate funding, representation, and protection due to US institutions.
by rifek on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 01:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is selective pressure of institutions on one level, and selected  social operations on another.

What is perhaps most remarkable is how spectacularly opposing institutions are failing.

by das monde on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 06:56:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 27th, 2012 at 05:41:27 AM EST
Rape is about power, so it should come as no surprise that it's a favorite, right wing tool.
by rifek on Sun Oct 28th, 2012 at 01:37:01 AM EST


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